This post was contributed by Danielle Conlon.
I’m a real romantic, and I’m not one bit ashamed about it. I’m not romantic in the borrrrrring typical rom-com way though… where every single cast member is white, blonde and losing their heads over a lame boi called Will, who ain’t all that. But I’m not much better, falling in low-key love with every cute guy who gives a good hug and has a nice smile or who gives me a parker pen. Despite pretending I’m in a rom-com daily and tragically failing the bechdel test as I go, I don’t genuinely think that everyone has one destined person for the rest of their lives that they are going to ride off into the sunset with.
Sunrises are better anyways, but it’s good to watch both on along the way.
There are multiple sunrise lovelies out there for everyone and I’ve been testing that out by kissing a few frogs, dm’ing a few eff boys (back) and imagining the Sex In The City theme is playing in the background as I flirt badly with everyone I meet in and around London.
But since I’ve lived and dated here for a bit, it’s now got to the stage where a once relaxing bus home from work has become this guided tour of my failed loves.
From Tower Bridge to Peckhamplex, I’ve managed to brand too many key spots with some of the sweetest moments that make it hard to not think of all the boys that have been through the revolving door of Danielle Conlon: party for one.
That ironic part of it is that people travel across the world to take pictures in the same exact places as those you thought were special and have the cheek to put it on Insta? The nerve.
Sometimes you want to comment, “that’s mine and *insert name of choice here* spot!!!… even though he blocked me on everything, even though he ghosted me until we stopped talking – even though I never told him I had a crush on him, that’s still our spot!”
I’ve ruined at least three of my favourite places in London by branding them with stories that are fit for telenovelas, Shakespearean tragedies and YouTube Click Bait Vlogs.
So turn off your phones, please.
The movie is about to start.
China Town: The Year Of The EX
You know how everyone has a weird thing for their first love? After years of drama and him kissing half of my friends after we broke up, that ‘thing’ was still stuck to the bottom of my shoe and I got bored, so I invited him to come stay with me in London, obviously.
My two University best friends had recently got together, and we decided to go on a to Chinatown for food. -A double date with a honeymooning couple and me and my ex. What ever could go wrong?
My friends shared a meal platter, which me and ex planned on doing, before he changed his mind (!) mid-order (!) to a meal that I couldn’t eat because I don’t eat meat.
You know how all roads lead to Rome? All topics of conversation at this table lead to all the reasons my ex became my ex – and not great dinner convo.
“Oh Dani, remember that time that I bought you flowers?”
“Yes. BECAUSE YOU CHEATED ON ME! How’s that char sui that I can’t share?”
Despite this, he thought sharing our food was still on the cards and ate MY meal as well as his whilst trying to force feed me meat – perhaps a bigger disrespect than any cheating scandal of my teens?
My friends tried to crack bad jokes to ease the tension. It’s still quoted to this day. Oh what a night.
China Town was never really the same again.
(GGMT) Ghosting Mean Time
One of my favourite places in London is Greenwich. There is a park, an observatory and the cutest memory of a younger me on my first ever Tinder date.
It was right at the beginning of summer and I met him just by the Cutty Sark. We went for drinks at this beer garden. This guy had amazing chat, like really interesting stuff about his dad who was writing a book about Shakespeare’s brother. Maybe I should have gone on a date with his dad?
As this was my first Tinder date, I wanted to give it my best try, so we spent hours talking whilst I knew more and more this wasn’t going anywhere – which is totally okay. It was a date, but I’m a long term gal, not a dating gal… well, at least I like to tell myself.
As it got darker, we decided to go for a walk by the River Thames, and he took me to the Greenwich Meridian Line. When we got there, he was super cute and told me that the green laser thing was the ‘point of time’ in the most dramatic way. It’s essentially the opposite of the equator and divides the Eastern and Western hemispheres. That’s where we get Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from.
If we were in a rom-com, that would’ve been the MOMENT where I mentally slipped on the wedding ring and lost my cool.
But no, he walked me back to my bus stop, and I never saw him again.
I do see GMT on my world clock though, and I always think of him.
From Tower Bridge With Love
So some context: I met this boy when I was incredibly drunk after work. When the alcohol eventually faded, I wasn’t actually that into him. But in the spirit of trying, we agreed to go on a real date. Transport for London had warned everyone to get home by 9 p.m. as it was supposed to snow. Of course, we met at 9 p.m. to prove a point, and there was no sign of snow, HEH. Take that MET office.
We stayed in an underground pub for hours, and it was a lovely date. I started to get a little crush. We came out just after midnight – waaay later than we thought it would be – and we were surprised to find that the city was covered in a blanket of snow, a very movie moment.
Even though it was FREEZING, we walked from London Bridge to Tower Bridge and watched the Shard disappear in the mist. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and probably the coldest I’ve ever been.
We had our first kiss in the snow with Tower Bridge in the background and now every time I see it, I think of him. During every date since that point, we managed to unintentionally have special cute moments in other beautiful locations around the city but maybe they can be just for us. Classically, I got the feels and bailed, Miss U.
The problem with living in a movie, especially a Rom-Com is that you make every memory so poignant that it tarnishes places for you.
Ironically, it’s become one of my favourite things about London and even though I mention them all the time, it’s often with love. Sometimes when my friends visit I take them on the audio guided tour of all the boys and they’ll roll their eyes.
But the best thing is when you find yourself making new moments in the same places where you’d never think you would have. I’ve actually been to all those places again with new people. I’ve actually been to all three places with the guy from Tower Bridge, and I’m sure I’ll take people I’ve not even met yet there too.
So there is my sincere rom-com moment (imagine me kissing my future man whilst the camera pans out, and I say all of this over the top narrator style).
Meet Danielle: Danielle Conlon is half Filipino, half English northerner, living in London looking for love, friendship and writing inspiration across the globe. With a heavy heart (and love for satsumas), when she’s not travelling, she’s working on her fantasy children’s book series: She Belongs To The Sun. Keep up with her on IG.